DENVER (CBS4) – A curfew will go into place on Saturday night in Denver at 8 p.m. in order to prevent more damage and violence downtown. The chaos has happened on two successive nights and been part of the protests of the George Floyd death at the hands of police in Minnesota.

A man holding a bat joins others in blocking an intersection during a protest on May 29, 2020 in Denver. This was the second day of protests in Denver, with more demonstrations planned for the weekend. Demonstrations are being held across the US after George Floyd died in police custody on May 25th in Minneapolis.

A man holding a bat joins others in blocking an intersection during a protest on Friday night in Denver. (credit: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

“We had hoped that we would not have to take these steps. But the aggressive and dangerous actions taken by some individuals and groups under the cover of darkness has made it necessary,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said on Saturday afternoon.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announces a curfew in the city of Denver

(credit: CBS)

The curfew continues through 5 a.m. on Sunday morning and applies to the entire City and County of Denver. The same curfew will also be in place on Sunday night. It applies to everyone with the following exceptions:

– law enforcement
– firefighters
– medical personnel
– news media
– people traveling to and from work or the airport
– people fleeing dangerous situations or seeking medical care
– people experiencing homelessness

“We have seen enough. We are not going to wait for these incidents to escalate any further,” Hancock said.

The Colorado National Guard has been deployed by Gov. Jared Polis to help Denver police “maintain public safety and protect infrastructure and property in the downtown area,” according to Hancock. Officers from other agencies will also be helping out. The city attorney says there could be up to a $999 fine or 300 days in jail for violation of curfew.

RTD is also suspending bus and rail service into and out of the downtown area.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said most protesters are doing so the right way, but on Friday buildings and businesses were damaged downtown and dozens more people were arrested. A total of 13 were arrested in Thursday night’s protests and three police officers were hurt, with one getting injuries serious enough that they had to go to the hospital.

“We need your help to weed out those who are inciting violence. Please help us keep this city safe,” Pazen said.

Community leaders say other parties are hijacking the true meaning of the protesting, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock echoed those statements on Saturday.

“Whose life are you honoring when you loot businesses in our city? Businesses already struggling to survive through one of the toughest times imaginable. Something we’ve never seen in this nation and in our city. What change do you inspire by setting a car on fire, throwing rocks at police officers or vandalizing people’s property? When there are agitators with selfish motives and reckless intentions hijacking demonstrations and inciting violence with homemade explosives, rocks, bottles … graffiti and vandalism, our officers will respond to maintain people’s safety, to protect themselves and to protect public and private property,” Hancock said.

To read the full curfew order, visit denvergov.org. The city’s emergency declaration is also available on the city website.

For complete coverage of the protests in Minneapolis over the police killing of George Floyd visit CBSMinnesota.com and stream CBSN Minnesota.

Comments (8)
  1. Duane Bailey says:

    The mayor should be in prison for reckless endangerment. This is just a license to commit police brutality against the very folks who have the chutzpah to protest it.

    1. Jay Alenby says:

      You are 100% correct. The Mayor is pathetic and useless. He is probably one of the people rioting. He has not done anything to protect the law abiding citizens and business owners of Denver. He is obviously more concerned about protecting those who are terrorizing our city.

    2. Karen H says:

      Watch the news Duane! THEY are assaulting police, destroying businesses of innocent citizens! This is NOT police brutality, it’s self defense, and defending the peaceful, productive, innocent members of our community! Any message that protesters were trying to get across has been drowned out by the unlawful actions, destruction and theft. Just an excuse to act afoul!

  2. kitty says:

    So the exceptions to the curfew doesn’t include journalists?

  3. Denver cannot rely on its police department to uphold the law. The behavior of police last night was irresponsible, lawless, and chaotic; police assaulted people uninvolved in riot or protest on public sidewalks in drive-by shootings with pepper guns, failed to close Colfax, and subjected motorists to chemical agents. Some of those arrested were simply in the path of police.

    1. Jay Alenby says:

      Anyone who was near the area of rioting deserved to any consequences the police dictated to them. There is not any such thing as an innocent victim if you were there. Hopefully you suffered the consequences of your irresponsible choices.

      1. Karen H says:

        THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT JAY! SO VERY TRUE! PROTEST PEACEFULLY OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!

      2. James Hammond says:

        By that logic, any cop that is in the vicinity of another officer committing an act of violence against a civilian deserves whatever consequences the mob deems fit.

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